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U.S. Ag Secretary announces new program in Frankenmuth

Xavier Mendoza | WCMU

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new program today aimed at reducing agricultural runoff responsible for large cyanobacterial blooms, like the annual bloom on Lake Erie. Fertilizer that runs off farm fields can fuel those blooms.

Vilsack says the federal government will be allocating $40 million in nutrient management grants to highlight the economic benefits of better planning for farmers.

He believes that will help reduce the annual cyanobacterial bloom on Lake Erie.

"Well, it's going to take time. I mean we didn't get into this situation overnight. We're not going to get out of it overnight. The goal here, though, is consistency. And consistent investment and significant investment," he says.

Vilsack estimates 28% of American cropland uses too much chemical fertilizer.

Vilsack spoke at a Michigan State University extension facility near Frankenmuth.